Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Al Jazeera Net
Up to eight million Iraqis require immediate emergency aid, with nearly half of the population living in "absolute poverty", according to a report by Oxfam and a coalition of Iraqi groups.
About four million people are lacking food and "in dire need of different types of humanitarian assistance", said the report, released in Amman on Monday.
"Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, health care, education, and employment," said the report, compiled by Oxfam and the NGO Co-ordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI).
The report also says two million people within the country are currently displced, while more than two million are refugees.
Most of those refugees have fled to Jordan and Syria.
Said Arikit, a spokesman for the UN mission in Iraq, told Al Jazeera the report painted a "grim picture".
"Many of the figures and percentages in the report were actually derived from UN sources… so we concur with the findings," he said.
"The government of Iraq is definitely the authority in Iraq and it bears responsibility for the welfare of its people."
Iraqi services have been left in crisis as most of those seeking refuge are professionals, according to the report.
"The 'brain drain' that Iraq is experiencing is further stretching already inadequate public services, as thousands of medical staff, teachers, water engineers, and other professionals are forced to leave the country," it said.
The entry of Iraqi refugees to neighbouring countries has placed a growing strain on health, education and social services in the two countries.
Only 60 per cent of the four million people who depend on food assistance have access to rations from the government-run public distribution system, down from 96 per cent in 2004, the report said.
The number of Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies has risen from 50 per cent to 70 per cent since 2003.
The lack of effective sanitation was also highlighted by the joint report, which said 80 per cent of people in Iraq did not have safe access.
The report said children were the hardest hit by the fall in living standards, stating child malnutrition rates have risen from 19 per cent before the US-led invasion in 2003 to 28 percent currently.
"Despite the constraints imposed by the government of Iraq, the UN and the international donors can do more to deliver humanitarian assistance to reduce unnecessary suffering," the report said.
One recommendation called for the government of Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, to decentralise the distribution of aid to local authorities, and make it easier for civil society organisations to operate.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Trying to Take Over
July 19, 2007
Besides the Bush administration's imperial aims and permanent war on the world, add the one at home below the radar. Its weapons include the WTO, NAFTA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, CIA, NSA, NORTHCOM, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA, and all other repressive instruments of state power and control. They target the people of three nations slowly becoming one headquartered in Washington. That's the apparent aim of those in power here wanting one continent, "indivisible" minus old-fashioned ideas like "liberty and justice for all" we used to believe in when, as kids, we recited our "Pledge of Allegiance." They now have a whole new meaning. They're just words drummed into young minds hoping they'll still believe them when they're old enough to know better.
There may be a greater scheme for the planet ahead, but this article only focuses on what we know about and how it's unfolding so far. It has a name, in fact, several, but they all aim for the same thing - one nation, indivisible, where three sovereign ones once stood, headquartered in Washington.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) or "Deep Integration" North American Union
SPP was formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush, Mexico's President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. It's a tri-national agreement hatched below the radar in Washington containing the recommendations of the Independent Task Force of North America. That's a group organized by the powerful US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), and Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. It advocates greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social, and security integration with secretive working groups formed to devise non-debatable agreements that, when completed, will be binding beyond the power of legislatures to change. It's also taking shape without public knowledge or consideration.
From what's already known, SPP unmasked isn't pretty. It's a corporate-led coup d'etat against the sovereignty of three nations enforced by a common hard line security strategy already in play separately in each country. It's a scheme to create a borderless North American Union under US control without barriers to trade and capital flows for corporate giants, mainly US ones. It's also to insure America gets free and unlimited access to Canadian and Mexican resources, mainly oil, and in the case of Canada water as well. It's to assure US energy security as a top priority while denying Canada and Mexico preferential access to their own resources henceforth earmarked for US markets.
It's also to create a fortress-North American security zone encompassing the whole continent under US control in the name of "national (and continental) security" with US borders effectively extended to the far reaches of the continent. The scheme, in short, is NAFTA on steroids combined with Pox Americana homeland security enforcement. It's the worst of all possible worlds headed for an unmasked police state, and it's the Bush administration's notion of "deep integration" or the "Big Idea" meaning we're boss, what we say goes, no outliers will be tolerated, public interest is off the table, and the people of three nations be damned.
It's also the next step in what GHW Bush had in mind when he delivered his "Toward a New World Order" speech to a joint session of Congress on another September 11 in 1990. At the onset of the "crisis in the Persian Gulf," he said "We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment (offering) a rare opportunity to move toward....a new world order" free from "the threat of terror....and more secure...." He spoke of a "new world....struggling to be born....quite different from the one we've known." He masked his intentions in language of peace and the pursuit of justice while preparing for war on Iraq and the region that's gone on for over 16 years with no end in sight. A new Bush administration is bringing that "New World Order" to the North American continent. Unless it can be stopped, the streets of Boston, Baltimore and Buffalo may one day look like occupied Baghdad or Bogota when drug barons clash and Colombia's US-financed military and paramilitaries step in.
Click here for the rest of this article and these subjects.
North American Future 2025 Project
The North American SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO)
Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP)
Militarizing A Continent As A First Step
Raymondville and Hutto Texas Immigrant Prison Detention Centers
Homeland Security Police State Justice for Everyone
Thursday, July 26, 2007
It is a very telling fact about America that its people can no longer do its own work. The article below tells of “labor-intensive crops, which require unskilled but physically demanding harvesting under a blazing sky, and the mind-numbing task of sorting produce on a conveyor”. And that the labor for this is Latinos. Why has America produced generations of people who cannot do natural work and must live off of government money, becoming dependant and lazy and useless? And now they have created a class of failures that society provides no place but the street for and begging. Why can’t they do this type of time honored work? They must be weak and inferior and damaged for the most part. What sort of person, when in need, cannot just go out and do a job for some money, especially if they have a family. But America has created these people and then opened their back door for others to do their work instead. It is a nation full of plots and schemes and abuses in order to use people for the benefit of profit and power.
US Agriculture Dependent on Migrant Workers
Ed Stoddard - Reuters
Mission, Texas - Driving through the Lower Rio Grande Valley in
southern Texas, it is clear that whatever labor is being done on a
farm - be it driving a tractor or weeding a field - Latinos are
This is especially true for labor-intensive crops such as citrus
fruits, which require unskilled but physically demanding harvesting
under a blazing sky, and the mind-numbing task of sorting produce on
As the United States grapples with the fallout of a failed attempt
to overhaul immigration policy and set up a migrant worker program,
one thing is clear: U.S. agriculture is utterly dependent on migrant
"If the Mexican farm laborers all went back tomorrow, the U.S. farm
system would collapse," said Bobbie Brown, a crop farmer in the
lower Rio Grande Valley along the Texas/Mexico border.
Of 17 workers sorting limes from 40 pound bags into 2 pound bags on
a conveyor belt in Mission, Texas, all were Latino and almost none
could speak English. The limes were grown in Mexico and will be
distributed in U.S. grocery stores.
"I'll soon go to Oklahoma and Colorado to pick watermelons. Then
I'll be back here in September," one of them, who declined to give
his name, told Reuters.
Crops ranging from cotton to corn are grown in the area, much of it
in the cooler winter months. Fields of sugar cane and some hardy
corn were growing under a blazing July sun.
William Kandel, a sociologist with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Economic Research Service, said it was difficult to
estimate the numbers of farm workers and the percentage of the labor
force which came from south of the border.
"Government surveys suggest that there are roughly 700,000 to
850,000 hired farm workers, on average, at any given point during
the year in the United States. There are academic estimates that put
the figures substantially higher at between 1 and 1.4 million," he
A recent National Agricultural Workers Study (NAWS) by the
department of labor which surveys crop workers in the field found
that 75 percent of hired hands in the sector were from Mexico and
five percent were born in other foreign countries.
It also found that about half were "undocumented."
IMMIGRATION REFORM SOUGHT
Texas Produce Association president John McClung said that the
industry wanted a legal workforce and was on President George W.
Bush's attempt to formalize the status of millions of illegal
migrant workers, which was killed in June by the U.S. Senate.
"We need immigration reform, not a wall," he said, in reference to a
planned security fence that would run for hundreds of miles along
the U.S./Mexico border.
Critics of the current system contend that their illegal status
makes it easy for the farming industry to exploit many migrants.
McClung said that while some painted the industry as exploitative,
the average wage for a field laborer was $9.50 an hour, not great
for hard work, but higher than the minimum wage.
The industry view is that Mexico has the labor, Mexicans need the
work, and Americans don't want to do these jobs. So some kind of
immigration reform is required.
For obvious reasons, farmers did not admit on the record to hiring
One valley farmer said the vast majority of the Mexicans working the
land in south Texas at least had documents but admitted that forged
papers were not uncommon.
Go to most any grocery store or restaurant in America in the
summertime and you will see students stocking shelves or waiting
tables. But you won't see them picking crops.
But American students in search of summer work simply do not want to
do the hard labor in the fields or the sorting on conveyor belts.
"It's hard work in the hot sun. Americans just don't want to do it
anymore," said Betty Perez, a local rancher.
Industry officials maintain that the labor shortage is worsening
because the children of migrant workers are enjoying the life their
parents toiled for.
"Our labor situation is getting more difficult. More sons and
daughters of our workers are getting educated and acquiring skills,"
said Jeff Brechler, a sales representative with J & D Produce Inc.,
a grower, packer and shipper of produce in the lower Rio Grande
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
1920 - 1923
Zionists always re-write history, and for this, the current residents of Israel think that they are the pious warriors who fight for independence. Zionist racial aggression in the early days of the British Mandate couldn’t but trigger action on the behalf of the Palestinians as they were being kicked out of their homes. What few are aware of, is that the already 9% Jews of the Palestinian Population, the ones who were secular at least, also suffered at the hands of Zionism. Zionism resorted to blackmail, extortion, and other means of violence to force non-Zionist Jews who have been living in Palestine, peacefully with their Arab neighbors, to force them to follow the protocols of the racial Jewish Agency.
Lucky for us who seek the truth, a lot of academics, journalists, and officials were present there to document history as it happened, and expose Zionism as an exclusive nationalistic ideology. The following incident is one but many regarding the brutality of Zionism in Palestine. Even though the author is a British Mandate official with key position and a sympathizer at first to Zionism, he at least documented the other side of Zionism, the one CNN would fail to investigate.
"In the early days there were many Jews in Palestine who were not Zionists, but the pressure applied by the Jewish Agency became so great, and its Gestapo methods so severe, that few Jews dared openly express any other faith. Just before I left Jaffa a very important Jewish farmer from Richon-le-Zion sent a message if he could come and see me...
When he arrived he told me had come to ask for my advice on a personal problem. He explained how, as a small boy, he had been brought to Palestine by his father, one of the biggest landowners of his village. Growing up there, he had made numerous friends among the little Arab boys of his own age. On his father's death he had taken over the property and naturally continued to employ his boyhood friends as herdsmen, ploughmen, and teamsters. That morning, however, the Jewish Agency had ordered him to dismiss all his Arab employees and to engage some newly arrived Jewish immigrants at a wage-rate far in excess of the pay of his Arab workmen. What should he do? If he dismissed the Arabs in the summary manner suggested, such bad feeling would be created that, being a vindictive people, they might well burn his crops. Apart from this consideration, they also happened to be his friends. The Jews who had been proposed to him as labourers knew nothing about farming, and certainly nothing about the local conditions. The Arabs would work to all hours of the night if it were a question of getting a crop in before the rain; the Jews would down tools precisely at six o'clock, no matter what the weather. He now saw no possibility of working his land on economic lines, and he would inevitably go bankrupt."
(Note: Author Lt.-Col. W.F. Stirling: British Army Officer (1880-1958): Chief Staff Officer under T.E. Laurence and Adviser to Emir Faisal in Damascus, 1918-1919; Advisor to the Albanian Government 1923-1931) Taken From Walid Khalidi's From Haven to Conquest, The Institute For Palestinian Studies, 2005, P. 233-234)
This is the case in general between secular Jews and Zionists through out Palestine in locations where the Jewish Agency had its iron grip. Zionists preach they were under attack by barbaric Palestinians, well that is a lie. How people will react as they were being kicked from their house to be replaced by foreigners who are strictly Jewish? Zionism didn’t want co-existence, they simply wanted to expel non-Jews from their homes, and force the seculars, under severe blackmail and punishment to cooperate. Drawing such division lines, the Palestinians had no choice but to react (then on individual basis rather under nationalistic causes) in such a way. People out of the blues are kicking them out of their homes; taking over their jobs just because they are Jewish reminds us how Zionism is nothing but a racial terrorist organization.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Not in Our Name
A Letter to the Mexican Antiwar Movement
By JOHN ROSS
El Bush's Holy War on Iraq is coming to a critical juncture. As the Yanqui president implements his so-called "surge" of 30,000 new troops (150,000 total) in a desperate move to secure Baghdad, the insurgency has surged too. The more troops Bush pours in, the higher the Yanqui death count climbs. The April -May-June quarter with 320 invaders killed was the highest three-month casualty toll since this brutal war began in March 2003.
Meanwhile, the body count of Iraqi dead escalates daily. So-called "sectarian" killings are again on the rise despite the increased gringo presence in Baghdad. Factoring in the monthly massacre tallies and extrapolating from the John Hopkins University (U.S.)/Lancet (UK) estimates of the number of Iraqis killed since the invasion began, it is probable that as many as 800,000 Iraqis have lost their lives to Bush's genocide. 4.2 million Iraqis have been driven from their homes - 2.2 million are internal refugees and another 2 million have fled into Jordan and Syria where they are unwelcome and treated as badly as the indocumentados are up in Bush-landia. The United Nations is calling the Iraqi refugee catastrophe the largest exodus in the Middle East since Israel ran the Palestinians off their land in 1948 and the most critical in the world today.
All of this carnage obeys a calendar - the Yanquis' electoral calendar - which in November 2008 will select a successor to the bloody Bush. The Yanquis are like sun kings. They really believe the sun revolves around them, that they are really in charge. But for once the tables are turned. The Iraqi resistance - the so-called "terrorists" - holds some heavy cards and the 2008 U.S. presidential election will be determined by the kill rate in that wounded land.
Compas, when this terrible war began four years ago, we came together to stop the slaughter in a coalition named "No En Nuestro Nombre" (since fragmented), a slogan that we picked up from our counterparts in the U.S. anti-war movement. But the truth is that Bush's war has never been fought in the name the Mexicas gave this country. This has always been a gringo war - Bush vs. the rest of the world. Our wars are in Oaxaca and Atenco, Chiapas, against the sinverguenzas that have stolen this land, cut down the trees and poisoned the water, disappeared the Indians, forced us to guzzle Coca Cola and pump petroleum, and buy our tortillas at Wal-Mart.
Yet even if Iraq is not Mexico's war, we are invested in it - more than 200 young Mexicanos y Mexicanas tricked into serving in Tio Sam's army, are dead in Iraq according to the lista de los muertos kept by Fernando Suarez del Solar, the father of Jesus Suarez, the first Mexica to die in the invasion. Mexican civil society sent two groups of human shields to Baghdad to stand between Bush's bombs and the Iraqi people even before the war began. The Mexican-born doctor Augustin Aguayo was imprisoned by the gabacho military for refusing to return to Iraq. Solidarity, the globalization of resistance, is embedded in the Mexica genome.
Click here for the rest of the article.
The poll was immediately noticeable at the top of the Forum’s left column. Anyone who reached the Forum could but was not required to vote. Only one vote was allowed to each user. The current results could only be seen after voting. There was no way to know the choices of particular individuals. The question asked was “If you had to fight for one, which would it be?” Possible responses were “Al-Qaeda” and “United States”. Here are the results.
It looks pretty even with a small majority supporting the United States. The numbers might be prejudicially suspect appearing on a politically leftist forum. They may be more representative however than that assumption would lead. We have had contacts from 140 nations. A large share of those originate from search engine queries devoid of significant political content and hitting on words and phrases of our posts.
It is probably so that most voting Americans would support the US. How about the others? Focus on the remaining 45% from rest of globe who backed Al-Qaeda. Those outside the US seem in close unanimity to share Al-Qaeda’s evident belief the US is a justifiable military target.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Just Us Revisited
The jury convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on four of the five counts in the indictment: one count of obstruction of justice; two counts of perjury; and one count of making false statements to federal investigators. Libby is "the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a federal-level government scandal since National Security Advisor John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair" in 1990.
The presiding trial judge, Reggie B. Walton, sentenced Libby to 30 months in federal prison, a fine of $250,000, and two years of supervised release, including 400 hours of community service, and then ordered Libby to begin his sentence immediately. When Libby's appeal of Judge Walton's order failed, President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence calling it "excessive," leaving the other parts of his sentence intact.
President Bush is still considering a full-on pardon of Libby.
In 2002, Martha Stewart was accused of insider trading and other crimes relating to statements that she made to investigators. Stewart went to trial and was convicted in March 2004 on four counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to prison, fined, and barred from serving on a public company Board of Directors and from serving in certain executive capacities for five years.
She served in Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia from October 2004 to March 4, 2005, after which she was placed under supervised release and required to wear an ankle bracelet for an additional 5 months.
Martha Stewart was convicted of the same two crimes. Both are high-profile and wealthy people. Martha served time; "Scooter" didn't because the president said he didn't have to do so.
A Georgia judge ordered the release Monday of a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17, a sentence that had been widely criticized as grossly disproportionate to the crime. A jury had found Genarlow Wilson, an honor student, guilty in 2005 of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. Although the sex act was consensual, it was illegal under Georgia law.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
No End In Sight
No, this isn't about the war in Iraq that a certain senator in the US was talking about recently. It's about another war that has been going on far longer, a war that has cost much more in both money and lives in the US and now, in México. It is the drug war, a war that transcends many US administrations and has no end in sight.
I remember attending a lecture back in the mid 1940s by an agent of what is now the Drug Enforcement Administration describing how violent the drug business was and the cost to society. Nothing has changed in sixty years except that it is much worse.
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse says that between 1985 and 1992, the cost to society increased by 50%. The trend continues. Overall cost to US society (including health costs, productivity and enforcement costs) was $108 Billion in 1992 and increased to $181 Billion in 2002. The raw cost of the illegal drugs imported has been around $60 Billion USD for years. $16 Billion in health care costs in 2002 and rising. Productivity costs in 2002 were $129 Billion and rising. Drug related crime; either direct or committed while "under the influence" is the single largest category of crime in the US.
According to the US Bureau of Justice, drug arrests have risen for adults from around 350,000 in 1970 to about 1,600,000 in 2005.
Want to see something scary? The general price trends for drugs from 1981 through 2003 have been down . . . while the purity of the drugs is much higher! And you think this war is being won?
Here's something else to think about. Of worldwide heroin grown, heroin in México has been dropping from 5,450 hectares in 1990 to 2,700 hectares in 2002. In Afghanistan, it has gone from 12,370 hectares to 206,000 hectares in the same period. The biggest jump up was in 2002 and 2003. Yeah, and you thought that the war there would help this issue. Think again.
What this is doing to México is something else. It's now a full fledged shooting war in México. With this much money flying around, someone is going to supply the US market come hell or high water. You can't pick up a paper without seeing 5 or 10 assassinated, and in May, in one shoot out between drug gangs, 22 were killed near the northern border. Police, including police chiefs and commanders are fair game. And now, direct attacks on the Mexican army by better-armed drug fighters have become common. In one instance, the attackers traveled in a convoy of more than 15 vehicles to the battle. And most escaped on horseback into the rugged mountains.
The Mexican chief of drug intelligence for the Department of Justice (PGR) was assassinated in his auto in downtown México (City) in the last week of May in broad daylight.
In early May, four bodyguards assigned to protect the children of the governor of the State of México were killed. The governor said that it must be "mistaken identity" and shrugged it off. Later that day a severed head with a "narco note" was delivered to an army post nearby telling the governor that more would come. This is becoming a standard practice with heads turning up everywhere.
The Fox administration started war against the drug gangs by arresting and imprisoning the cartel leaders. The effect was to destabilize what was a more or less orderly business. Then the lower ranks (the "young Turks") started wars between the cartels for the control of the lucrative drug market in the US.
The Calderón administration took the war to a new level by using the Mexican army to directly attack the gangs and try to reclaim México for the Mexican people. (More than 24,000 troops are committed now.) The problem is that it seems so far that the drug gangs are stronger than the army and navy combined.
The drug smugglers are even getting into human illegal immigrant smuggling by using the people as human shields to smuggle drugs across the border.
There has been a hint of another line of thinking down here now. Why not simply declare peace with the drug gangs and "make a deal" with them to let Mexico alone. If the US wants to buy drugs . . . that's their problem.
True, that line of thinking has been strongly rejected here . . . at least for now. But if the US doesn't clean up their act, who can condemn this line of thought? After all, who maintains this enduring illegal market? Considering this state of affairs, isn't is fair to ask the US when, after 60 years of failure, are they going to get serious about their own drug problem?
México fully cooperates in stopping illegal immigrants from "sensitive" countries transgressing México to the US. How about some cooperation from north of the border on drugs?
Just like illegal immigration, this is a market driven affair.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Learning and understanding and exchanging ideas and information is what we need for a hope of getting things back under some sort of balance again. Exposing the lies. Passing along our truths to link them together to make them stronger. With the ability to decide who should stay and who is there to just detract, the chat room is really shaping up into something very worthwhile.
It has been a lot of work and dedication but for all of us involved, it has been well worth it.
Here are two good links that have recently come into the chat
Peak Oil rewritten and corrected by our chat member HiTecVagabond
Bill Moyers – Talk Tough on Impeachment. Sent in by chatter Coasta
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Keeping People In
The House voted 260-159
Bush hardly ever vetoes anything
The administration has allocated billions of dollars to beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico and the U.S.-Canada borders
...the wall will be 15 feet high to prevent people from going to work.... (we don't have a problem with terrorists hopping the border and suicide-bombing discos or shopping centers)
...eventually it will stretch from shining sea to shining sea....
No one in the US media told you the fence seems to be planned to work for both directions
Are you sure you be able to leave????
Saturday, July 14, 2007
It was the best of times to see their heritage, culture and natural wonders. The rich there have large haciendas with huge villas on them. The other half lives in shacks made of pressboard, tar paper and corrugated steel. We notice the class struggle between the rich and poor, but we tend to ignore it. Perhaps we briefly stop to toss a coin toward the mother and child begging on the side of the road. Often, the sharp contrast is reflected with statements like "If the poor wanted to work, they would" and "It's amazing what money can buy".
Some of their more motivated people come up to work in our country harvesting our crops, building our homes and babysitting our children. Some of them want to come here so bad that they will cross the border illegally. For the longest time this too was ignored since the hard workers from the south provided much needed cheap labor. I've loved Mexico ever since taking regular spring break trips during my college days. I often feel myself drawn back to Mexico as if there was a magnet pulling me. For some reason I like the place. It's not so much about how many toys you have, but all about family.
Things changed recently. Since 9/11 we fear that our country will be invaded by terrorists and illegal aliens. A Great Wall of Mexicoproject is underway. Over 700 miles of wall are being constructed of concertina barb-wire fence with room for patrol vehicles, guard towers, military police, guard dogs, etc. There are even rumors of mine fields, tanks and jets to patrol this border. No one seems to mind the wall since we are told it will preserve our jobs. But people feel that it will not help the war on terrorism.
Meanwhile the border to the north is pristine and kept that way. There is a 1925 treaty that enforces a “boundary vista”. The border commission has the legal authority to demand removal of any structure that encroaches within 10 feet of the border from either side. A few months ago, a family that built a fence to keep their dogs from running off to Canada was determined to have built their fence too close to the border. The knee-high wall had to be promptly removed. However, things took a different turn recently when Bush had the commissioner fired for not preserving the property rights of the people with the fence and the dogs.
Although building a wall on the Canadian border has been brought up, construction has never been authorized.
So what is this wall between Mexico and the US really for?
1) Combating terrorism - no. They can just come in from Canada.
2) Combating illegal aliens - no. They can come in through Canada. They come in on boats from Cuba and Haiti.
3) Maybe it's to keep us from leaving? run to Canada
4) Maybe it's in preparation for a war. But what kind of a war?
A war of aggression to take Mexico's oil? - maybe
Another Mexican revolution? - maybe
What happens when oil becomes more expensive? The cost of transportation goes up. Will China be able to deliver their stream of goods to the US? Their goods will be much too expensive once fuel costs go up. What if things were made in Mexico again and the labor costs were forced down further to match China wages? What happens in Mexico once their oil runs out - a bunch of unhappy people.
Maybe this is why they want the wall so bad - so that we can feel like we are on the other side of a class struggle - Just like the days of Charles Dickens.
Friday, July 13, 2007
For Victor Toro, last week seemed like any other week in his life as one of the best-known advocates for immigrants and other dispossessed people in New York City. He met with other activists in Rochester to discuss what they should do about the recent collapse of the immigration bill in Congress.
On Friday, his meetings completed, Mr. Toro boarded an Amtrak train to return to his home in the Bronx. But Mr. Toro is an illegal immigrant. And it was on that train that he was discovered. He was arrested, jailed and then released early Monday morning after posting bond.
He now faces deportation.
Yesterday he was home with his wife and daughter, awaiting what is next in his odyssey. It began in the 1970s when he was a political prisoner in the jails of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in Chile, veered for a time into Europe and Mexico, then into New York City, where he became known for more than two decades of community and political activism.
Belatedly, Mr. Toro now plans to seek political asylum, but where he once feared only Chile, he said he now fears the United States as well.
Mr. Toro, a striking figure who wears his long white hair in a ponytail and has a luxuriant white mustache, foresaw none of this when he boarded the train in Rochester.
Suddenly, United States border patrol agents entered Mr. Toro’s car and went from seat to seat, asking passengers whether they were citizens, residents or visitors. Mr. Toro answered, in Spanish, that he was not an American citizen.
Did he have any identification? the agents asked. Mr. Toro showed them a Chilean passport, which had expired in 2005 and had no entry stamps for the United States. Can you explain the lack of entry stamps? the agents asked.
“I am here illegally,” Mr. Toro said in Spanish, according to his daughter, Rosa Toro, who acted as interpreter during a phone interview.
Mr. Toro was handcuffed, placed in a van with other immigrants who could not provide papers, given an orange jumpsuit, and imprisoned at Cayuga County Jail in Auburn, N.Y.
Ramon Rivera, a spokesman for United States Customs and Border Protection, said such random checks were becoming increasingly routine at train stations, bus stops and airports since the terror attacks of 9/11.
Detainees like Mr. Toro are asked during processing whether they seek political asylum, Agent Rivera said, and there is no record that Mr. Toro sought such asylum last week.
For Mr. Toro, 65, interactions with governments are filled with dread. When he was a left-wing political activist, General Pinochet’s regime tortured him after the coup that toppled Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973, he said.
Both he and Nieves Ayress, now 56, who later became his wife, have said they had electrodes attached to their genitals in Chilean jails.
In 1976, he fled Chile for Sweden, Norway and other European countries, but he did not seek asylum anywhere there, said Carlos Moreno, Mr. Toro’s lawyer. For years, Mr. Toro went from country to country, finding himself at last in Mexico.
In 1984, he illegally crossed the border into the United States at El Paso, settling later in the Bronx, Mr. Moreno said.
Mr. Toro and Ms. Ayress, both political activists, started Vamos a la Peña del Bronx in 1987, a storefront group that provided clothing and food for poor people, help with immigrants’ problems, shelter for battered women and health education for those who were H.I.V. positive.
In 1998, the group won an award and a $50,000 grant from Union Square Awards in Manhattan for community service. “We were looking for groups that were operating on pure passion but who had no economic resources,” said Iris Morales, director of the philanthropy.
During more than two decades in the public eye, Mr. Toro was hiding his immigration status in plain sight, his lawyer said. Mr. Toro was arrested three times in the 1990s for nonviolent offenses: once for a political demonstration, a second time for a noise complaint, and a third for a building permit dispute.
Mr. Toro was never asked about his immigration status after his arrests, Mr. Moreno said. In addition, his home is opposite the 40th Precinct police station.
General Pinochet died last year, his regime replaced by a freely elected government, so why doesn’t Mr. Toro simply return to his homeland?
Rosa Toro said that the Chilean government declared him officially dead, a fact that chills her father.
“In Chile, the dictatorship would declare a person dead,” Ms. Toro said, “so that if you came back and something should happen to you, no one would know because you were already dead, officially.”
Ms. Toro, 27, was born in Havana and is a legal resident. Her mother is an American citizen. Mr. Toro had hesitated seeking asylum, in part, because the recent failed immigration bill seemed to promise amnesty for illegal immigrants like himself, Ms. Toro said. He had sought a new Chilean passport, but both times Mr. Toro was told that he was dead.
“Now, in both places, no one is very concerned about my father,” said Ms. Toro, a schoolteacher. “In the U.S. he could be deported, and in Chile he doesn’t exist.”
Mr. Moreno acknowledges that he faces substantial hurdles when Mr. Toro appears before an immigration court. No court date has been set.
Nonetheless, Mr. Toro has a strong case for political asylum because he has contemporary witnesses and photographs documenting physical abuse in Chile, Mr. Moreno said.
“Yes, he has some explaining to do,” Mr. Moreno said.
Monday, July 09, 2007
A message from the Iraq resistance."People of the world! These words come to you from those who up to the day of the invasion were struggling to survive under the sanctions imposed by the criminal regimes of the U.S. and Britain .We are simple people who chose principles over fear.
Click to see the rest of the posters
Saturday, July 07, 2007
In Raymondville, Texas
No wonder American claims it spends so much money on immigration. Look at what they waste it on.
Raymondville is about an hour North from the border town of Brownsville, TX. It is a small town with a population of about 10, 000. It houses the $65 million futuristic "Tent City". It has been described as a “futuristic tent city...made of Kevlar-like material” without windows and ringed by barbed wire. The facility is located next to a State and Federal Prison, keeping the undocumented immigrants as criminals in the largest immigration detention center in the US. It holds 2,000 immigrants who speak more than 40 different languages in windowless hothouses. They are locked down 23 hours a day. Some will spend years there before being sent back home. They are often with insufficient food, clothing, medical care and access to telephones. Many are transferred from the East Coast, 1,500 miles from relatives and lawyers, virtually cutting off access to counsel.
Friday, July 06, 2007
President Bush reduced Lewis "Scooter" Libby,s "excessive" 30-month prison sentence to an impressively short sentence of zero days (probably for being a good boot-licker). After all, we are reminded by the media that he is a fine Republican American, a great father and a Christian too.
However, Bush kept in place the $250,000 fine (with a special $400 special acessment) which were both paid in a matter of 3 1/2 days. I really wonder if he had to do something painful like cash out his rainy day fund (built-up over the course of 15 years by defending organized crime figure and billionaire Marc Rich) or something like selling a portion of his KBR stocks. God forbid that he had to take out a mortgage on his home.
Will he ever visit a probation officer's office ever??? Nah. District Judge Reggie Walton, who was appointed by President Bush, already said that federal law "does not appear to contemplate a situation in which a defendant may be placed under supervised release without first completing a term of incarceration." I'm sure he won't have to submit to a DNA sample, give piss-test samples, stay within a 50 mile radius or his home, be under house arrest when not at work, wear a GPS tracker, give up his right to vote, own a gun or anything harsh like that. Perhaps he won't qualify for a security clearance for his next job. Not. You won't see anything like this for Scooter.
And the last piece - the record will show the fact that Libby lied under oath in connection with an investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent. That record be gone in January 2009. Bush will simply wave his pardon wand as he leaves office, maybe even sooner. Maybe parts or whole sections of his Wikipedia "coatrack" article will disappear too. I know of other Republican crooks that have managed to do this already.
What is the point of prosecuting any of these crooks if an unfavorable decision will simply be annulled by proclamation? As you can see, criminal "Just-Us" is special version of the law reserved for a special few, not even for the likes of Paris Hilton.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
This story of Zehnli Ye Gon, copied below, is what America creates. It is a fact, America uses more illegal drugs than any country in the world, and also a fact that there are more drug addicts there than anywhere else in the world. One must question why, since it is suppose to be the very best of all. America also has more designer drugs and enhancers that they distribute thru their doctors than any other nation in the world. The reason is their government has programmed them to be dependant and to not think for themselves, they easily turn to drugs. And the reason for that, is so they can be used as government tools. For example, telling their public that the reason why their children turn to drugs is because Mexico makes them illegally. Instead of looking at the obvious, it must be a flaw in themselves and lack of a correct upbringing and a warped society.
And what else is obvious, is that if America gave their people what they crave and seem to need, what real freedom demands, and made their own drugs of choice for them, or at least let Mexico do it legally, this whole massive problem would just disappear, no laws broken, no need to go to war over it, no need to fill up prisons over it, or tip the balance of Mexico over it.
This article about Zehnli Ye Gon should be read in its entirety, right down to the revealing end. This man is now living in America, since he is now a known criminal here in Mexico, how strange. It shows the immense amount of money that temps business minded men into this illegal drug trade for American consumption. From duffle bags of $100 dollar bills to 150 tons of illegal drug ingredients in a ship, to government scandals and lies to stories of wild excess. Keep in mind, America is at fault, with its laws, with its drug addicted society to its greed for what makes the most profit the quickest. There would not be men like this here in Mexico thriving off the illegal profits if not for America. Why can’t they just go away and leave us alone, mind their own business and tend to their fast failing nation
By MARK STEVENSON and MICHAEL RUBINKAM
MEXICO CITY -- It was the largest seizure of cash in the history of
drug enforcement: $207 million, mostly in crisp $100 bills, stuffed
into walls, closets and suitcases in the Mexico City home of a
Zhenli Ye Gon told The Associated Press that most of the money
belonged to Mexico's ruling party. He said party officials delivered
it last summer in duffel bags stuffed with $5 million apiece and
threatened to kill him unless he guarded their cash.
In a statement Sunday night, the Mexican government called his
tale "a perverse blackmail attempt" aimed at getting himself off on
drug, weapons and money-laundering charges and at blunting President
Felipe Calderon's war on drugs, which has mobilized the army and
extradited a record number of top-level traffickers.
The government says Ye Gon made millions supplying traffickers with
the raw material to make a pure, highly addictive form of
methamphetamine that has flooded U.S. markets, and said his
story "is not only false, it is ridiculous."
The statement from the attorney general's office, which was a
response to a letter sent by Zhenli's U.S. lawyer to the Mexican
Embassy in Washington, said the lawyer demanded special treatment
for Ye Gon and suggested he would go public with his accusations
against the National Action Party.
"These lawyers are unscrupulously and uselessly seeking to blackmail
the Mexican government with absurd and unbelievable accusations, in
an attempt to discourage the government from bringing all the weight
of the law to bear against Mr. Zhenli Ye Gon," it said.
Eleven people, including several of Ye Gon's relatives, have been
charged with drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico.
Ye Gon met with the AP recently at his lawyer's New York office. The
44-year-old calmly recounted his version of events, complete with
mysterious guards and blood-chilling threats. Most of his story
about his alleged relationship with the ruling party hinges on
claims that are hard to prove.
Ye Gon said he had no prior relationship with the National Action
Party and has no idea why he was chosen to hold the cash. And the
name he gave as his main campaign contact doesn't match that of
anyone who worked on Calderon's national campaign team.
Born in Shanghai, Ye Gon migrated to Mexico in 1990 and became a
citizen in 2002. He imported textiles, clothing and shoes, and made
a fortune as a reseller of commodities seized by Mexican customs.
He founded a pharmaceutical company, Unimed, in 1997. He said he
became one of the nation's largest importers of pseudoephedrine, an
ingredient in cold medicines that is also used to make
methamphetamine. After 2004, however, Ye Gon said he stopped
importing pseudoephedrine because of the controls placed on the
chemical by the Mexican government.
He said he has never sold illegal drugs and doesn't even know what
meth looks like.
Mexico says otherwise. Agents intercepted a ship from China last year that purportedly carried more than 19 tons of pseudoephedrine acetate, all of it illegally imported by Ye Gon, according to the government. Officials say he was building a massive factory in Mexico to process the component into a form usable to traffickers. Mexican labs already supply about 80 percent of the meth in the U.S. market.
Ye Gon said the substance on the ship was another, proprietary chemical used in cold medicines, and that Mexican officials botched the laboratory analysis. He supplied AP with reports from two American chemists, including a former official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who said the testing procedures were severely flawed.
What isn't in dispute about Ye Gon is that he lived the life of a high roller.
The married Ye Gon squired his mistress around in a Lamborghini. During frequent trips to Las Vegas, he said he bet $150,000 a hand in baccarat, his favorite game. He was such a treasured customer that one of his favorite haunts, The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, gave him a Rolls-Royce.
And no wonder: Between 1997 and 2006, Ye Gon lost nearly $41 million while gambling in the U.S., according to a police affidavit filed in Las Vegas.
Ye Gon's high-rolling ways have been curtailed dramatically since the raid on his home. He said all of his bank accounts, including those in Hong Kong and the U.S., are frozen. He is staying with a friend in the United States but wouldn't say where.
"I don't want to live like that," he said. "I want to make things clear as soon as possible. If the DEA tomorrow asks me, I will go with them, cooperate with them, or FBI, or CIA. I'd like to talk with them."
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Mexican President says American Senate encourages
[It must be realized that America wants to keep the situation with immigrants and drugs illegal. They do not want things to work out, they want to keep things agitated and steadily getting worse. You can't create a war and be able to militarize the border with making peace and good relations. And the American government cannot rally its people to hate and anger and the want of bloodshed by getting along with its neighbor.]
By DUDLEY ALTHAUS and MARION LLOYD
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Mexico City Bureau
President Felipe Calderon of Mexico blasted the U.S. Senate's rejection of the immigration bill on Thursday, calling the senators' action "a grave error" that avoided a "sensible, rational and legal solution."
"It's a mistake," Calderon said. "First, because it's a problem that's not being confronted. And with this evasive action the U.S. Senate is making it worse.
"Secondly, by closing the door on legal immigration, the only thing the Senate does is open the door to illegal immigration."
Calderon, appearing at a joint news conference with the visiting President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, said he continues to oppose a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that was approved by Congress last year. Some 370 miles of fencing will be constructed by 2008, about 153 miles inside Texas. Another 400 miles would be built later.
Calderon 'more realistic' More than a tenth of Mexico's 110 million people now live in the U.S., many illegally.
As the United States has beefed up border security, people from Mexico and Central America have opted for new — and often perilous — ways of making it across.
On Tuesday, U.S. agents manning a California border checkpoint discovered three Mexican emigrants hiding out inside a truck engine. One of them, a woman, was admitted to a hospital after suffering severe burns from the running motor, according to newspaper reports.
Calderon has placed less emphasis than his predecessor on lobbying for changes in U.S. immigration law, partly, analysts say, out of concern about getting burned.
Former President Vicente Fox's relationship with President Bush soured over Mexico's refusal to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the failure to work out an immigration agreement with Washington.
"Fortunately, Calderon has been more realistic," said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, a Mexico City-based foreign affairs analyst. "He's put fewer eggs in the immigration reform basket and it's not so costly for him and his diplomacy."
Negative impact forecast However, Fernandez said the failure to move ahead with the reform would have a "very negative impact" on U.S.-Mexican relations, calling immigration "a huge stone that's complicating the relationship in other areas."
The topic of immigration was also part of talks between Calderon and Ortega, who agreed to work together to guarantee "the full respect for migrants' human rights," according to a joint statement.
Ortega, a one-time Marxist president of Nicaragua following that country's 1970s leftist revolution against a U.S.-backed dictator, was in Mexico City to strengthen ties with Mexico and to visit the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The Nicaraguan president had vowed to make the pilgrimage if he won election this year, which he did, returning to power 17 years after being voted out of office.
Nicaraguans account for relatively few of the Central Americans migrating illegally to the United States. Most come from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have migrated to Costa Rica for work.
Calderon has been working to repair ties with the rest of Latin America that had become frayed under Fox.
Like his predecessor, Calderon is a political and economic conservative.
He argues that the opportunities offered by the 13-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement can only be fully realized with a freer flow of labor between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
"The American economy could not prosper or advance without the labor of both Mexican and Central American migrants," Calderon said.
Monday, July 02, 2007
‘The impact of immigration - legal and illegal - on jobs, schools, healthcare, the environment, national security, are all very serious problems,” insists Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a man famed for his extreme anti-immigration views. “But more serious than all of them put together is this threat to the culture. I believe we are in a clash of civilizations.” Tancredo’s right about that last bit. We are in a clash of civilizations - and someday, immigrant culture may even displace some aspects of American culture.
We’d better hope so.
Americans? We’re fat, decadent and getting dumber all the time. Our life expectancy, which rose for most of the last two centuries, is stalling because so many of us are obese. While most of us know everything there is to know about Paris Hilton, we know next to nothing about history, geography, international politics or the workings of our own government.
In American culture, the Xbox reigns supreme among boys, we market thong underwear to prepubescent girls and a growing number of adults think a McMansion with fewer than one bathroom per resident is the height of privation.
Our forebears tamed the West, but today, most of us couldn’t tame a paper bag. If we had to cross the country in covered wagons, we’d be dead well before we reached the Mississippi.
Now contrast “our” culture with that of recent immigrants. On all too many measures, immigrants look a whole lot better.
Immigrants exhibit no shortage of pluck. It takes guts to leave your home and everything you know - even if a green card awaits. And when it comes to illegal immigrants, just getting here takes astounding courage. Illegal immigrants endure astonishing privation and risk - just for the chance to improve their lot by doing the backbreaking work so few native-born Americans have the inclination to do. While we demand McMansions, they share cramped apartments. We’re up to our ears in consumer debt; they save almost every dollar to send to their less-well-off relatives.
The younger generation of illegal immigrants is particularly impressive. Each year, thousands of unaccompanied children cross into the U.S. without their parents, many literally walking here from villages in El Salvador and Guatemala. Could our sheltered and chaperoned children manage such a trip on their own?
Immigrants tend to be straight arrows too. A 2002 survey by the nonpartisan group Public Agenda found that an overwhelming majority of immigrants believe that they have a duty to “work hard and stay off welfare” and “respect people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.” A Harvard study found that immigrant students also have more positive attitudes toward education than U.S.-born young people.
And contrary to widespread perceptions, immigrants are less likely than non-immigrants to commit crimes. A study in Chicago looking specifically at Mexican immigrants found that “first-generation immigrants (those born outside the United States) … were 45% less likely to commit violence than were third-generation Americans.” Harvard sociology professor Robert Sampson suggests that increased immigration may have been a factor in reduced crime rates in the 1990s.
Another study done in New York City found that immigrants looked pretty good across the board. Compared to their native-born peers, for instance, “foreign-born [adolescents] had less asthma, less obesity, fewer school days missed and less involvement in substance use, sex, delinquency and violence.” On average, immigrants even live three years longer than the rest of us.
No wonder Tancredo and his supporters are terrified of immigrants!
Immigrants put us to shame. They’re healthier, stronger, thriftier and braver. If we can’t get them to assimilate, they may well displace us. Thursday’s death-by-filibuster of the immigration reform bill - which ended the prospect of a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented workers - might slow the cultural displacement, but it won’t stop it.
Fortunately for us native-born types, most immigrants are willing to overlook our flaws and assimilate. According to the Public Agenda survey, 80% of immigrants consider the U.S. “a unique country that stands for something special in the world,” and 87% say it’s “extremely important” to “speak and understand English.”
But we should pause before we insist that immigrants assimilate. The same studies that show immigrants are healthier and less violent also suggest that the inoculating effects of immigrant status wear off over the years. By the time you get to the grandchildren of immigrants, you can no longer detect much difference.
In other words: Immigrants beware! Assimilation into American culture may be hazardous to your health and your values.
As for the rest of us - instead of insisting that immigrants assimilate to our culture, maybe we should consider assimilating to theirs. It might be the only way to bring back the values of our ancestors - who were, as everyone knows, immigrants themselves.